A Guardianship To Help Our Loved Ones

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Dec 15, 2014

Book/Edition

Idaho - Boise and the Treasure Valley

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A Guardianship To Help Our Loved Ones All of us have family or friends who need assistance, whether financially, physically or, in the case of this article, mentally. In caring for our loved ones, it is important to know some legal guidelines to best serve them. When a person loses the ability to think clearly, it affects his or her ability to participate in meaningful decision-making. If that individual is unable to make rational, clear-headed decisions about health care, finances or other aspects of life, guardianship and/or conservatorship may be the next step if the person does not have power of attorney documents in place or if there is disagreement among family members about these issues. To appoint a guardian, a court must declare a person to be incapacitated based on findings where: A person who, due to his or her mental, physical and emotional status, prevents him or her from taking care of his/her own basic needs; and As a result, that person is in danger of substantial harm; and There is no one already legally authorized to make substitute decisions for the person. If the criteria are met, the court transfers the responsibility of determining living arrangements and medical decisions to the guardian and the responsibility for managing assets and finances to the conservator. Guardians and conservators have a duty to act in the best interest of the incapacitated person and in the least restrictive manner. Regular reports must be submitted to the court regarding the status of the incapacitated person and his or her finances and assets. Guardians - A guardianship is a legal right and duty given to a person to be responsible for managing the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of managing these necessities for him or herself. Conservators - A conservatorship is a legal right and duty given to a person to be responsible for managing the assets and finances of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of managing them for him or herself. Keep in mind it is possible to avoid the necessity of a guardianship and/or conservatorship through a good estate plan that includes both a medical power of attorney and a general durable power of attorney which permit trusted individuals to make health care decisions and manage financial affairs in the event of incapacity. This article was written by Donna A. Schuyler, Attorney, who practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, guardianship and probate. Donna Schuyler Law, PLLC; elderlawboise.com; Phone 208-344-1947

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Guardianship Versus Powers of Attorney

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